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58244012471957SAGE OpenAllman


The Sociology of Social Inclusion

January-March 2013: 1­–16
© The Author(s) 2012
DOI: 10.1177/2158244012471957

Dan Allman1

This article looks at social inclusion from a sociological perspective. It argues that sociology complements biological and other
natural order explanations of social stratification. The article interrogates a variety of forms of social integration, including
ostracism within 5th century B.C. Greece, 19th-century solidarism, and Goffman’s mid-20th-century work on stigma. It does
so to demonstrate how in each of these contexts, social inclusion and exclusion can function as apparati that problematize
people on the margins, and by extension, contribute to their governance and control. The article proposes that sociology
provides a valuable orientation from which to consider social inclusion because it illuminates how social integration maintains
and manages the ways in which people move about and through their socially stratified worlds.

social inclusion, social exclusion, social integration, social stratification, sociology

We live in the state and in society; we belong to a ostracized, ignored, or bemired, the outcome is a collection
social circle which jostles against its members and is of social practices. These social practices result from various
jostled by them; we feel the social pressure from all degrees of intimacy and interactions between friends, strang-
sides and we react against it with all our might; we ers, families, colleagues, kinship groups, communities, cul-
experience a restraint to our free activities and we tures, and even whole societies—all of which lend themselves
struggle to remove it; we require the services of other to sociological study.
[people] which we cannot do without; we pursue our This article begins with a consideration of exclusion and
own interests and struggle for the interests of other inclusion societies across time and place, including gated com-
social groups, which are also our interests. In short, we munities, closed institutions, and caste systems. The article
move in a world which we do not control, but which delves into what is described as the natural order of social
controls us, which is not directed toward us and inclusion and exclusion. It explores some of the theories and
adapted to us, but toward which we must direct and findings that have come out of such an approach, including the
adapt ourselves. evolutionary and sociobiological work in the area. To make its
Gumplowicz, 1963, p. 6 case for a sociology of social inclusion, the article then gazes
back in time to three examples: ostracism in 5th-century
This article considers the concept of social inclusion from Athens, solidarism in 19th century France, and contemporary
the perspective of sociology. In doing so, it aims to comple- considerations of stigma as influenced by the work of Goffman.
ment the work of historians, economists, psychologists, and Building on this, the article proposes that societies which
natural scientists to better understand the origins of the social emphasize differences in social integration are structured by
inclusion concept. It argues that action and efforts to include or architectures of inclusion that govern and manage how mar-
exclude individuals and social groups are fundamental to soci- ginal women and men inhabit social space, while functioning
ety as forces that govern through the oppressive or liberating to maintain many of the attributes of the status quo.
effects such inclusionary or exclusionary actions promote.
As a discipline from which to consider the social inclu-
sion and exclusion concepts, sociology offers an excellent Exclusion Hierarchies
vantage. Sociology is well oriented to consider facets of More than 50 years ago, the anthropologist and sociologist
social equality and inequality, social integration and stratifi- David Pocock (1957) reflected that processes of inclusion
cation, social mobility as it relates to social inclusion and and exclusion were features of all hierarchies. Pocock felt
exclusion, and the functional contributions of the periphery
relative to the social core. Sociology provides a needed van- University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
tage from which to consider social inclusion as it lends itself
Corresponding Author:
to extension beyond economic or natural fitness. Dan Allman, University of Toronto, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, 155
In the social world, whether one is welcomed, repre- College Street, Room 524, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5T 3M7
sented, or provided for by the mainstream, or whether one is Email:

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that in general terms, the discussion of inclusion and exclu- Prisons, like asylums and other places that remove indi-
sion fed into efforts to define what might be called a social viduals from broader social life are additional if somewhat
ontology, or the way that the existence and social positioning more extreme forms of exclusion societies. These institu-
of groups in a hierarchically structured society would be tions enclose the daily lives of certain social actors from
explained. Such a social ontology has been described by broader society, replacing wider interaction with complex
Sibley (1995) as a landscape of exclusion; a form of social subcultures (Baer, 2005).
and philosophical geography that melds ideology with place An altogether different type of exclusion society is a caste
in an exercise of social, economic, and political power that system, which relies less on geographical separation and
invariably results in forms of oppression, and in many more on social distance. A notable example is the caste sys-
instances, exploitation (Towers, 2005). Fredericks (2010) tem of India (Nayar, 2007). At the root of India’s exclusion
suggested that belongingness as experienced in everyday society are the untouchable castes whose marginal social
relations constructs the kinds of sentiments on which societ- position is owed to their relationship to impurities associated
ies of exclusion (and inclusion) are based. Referencing the with death and organic pollution (Deliege, 1992).
work of De Certeau (1984), Fredericks makes the case for the Berreman (1967, referencing Davis & Moore, 1945;
importance of the everydayness of belonging and attachment, Lenski, 1966; Mills, 1963; Tumin, 1953), held that caste sys-
and the memory and tradition it reinforces as means of appro- tems—unlike gated communities, inner cities, orphanages,
priation and territorialization. leper colonies, asylums, and prisons—are fundamentally
One example of such a landscape of exclusion is a gated structures through which power and privilege are allocated via
community (Hook & Vrdoljak, 2002). Grant and Rosen interdependent social classifications ordered by stratified and
(2009) proposed these communities exist as exclusion soci- ranked divisions of labor. Mencher (1974) referenced Leach
eties. They cite Flusty’s (2004) argument that the community (1960) in suggesting that India’s caste classifications facilitate
gates that enclose act to protect those inside from unforeseen divisions of labor free of the competition and expectations of
and largely unwanted encounters with otherness. Examples mobility inherent in other systems.
given range from urban gated communities where exclusion As exclusion societies, caste systems perpetuate them-
is legitimized as spatial inequity (Flusty, 2004) to the present selves and the positions of privilege provided to those
security fences undulating across Israel, or separating the included within them. Yet they are different from other exclu-
United States from Mexico (Kabachnik, 2010). sion societies because across many noncaste landscapes of
Herbert (2008) reflected on the ways in which urban exclusion, mobility is conceivable and emulation of status is
spaces in the United States and elsewhere are turned into possible. However, in caste systems, place within the exclu-
exclusion societies through the criminalization of public sion or inclusion hierarchy is ascribed at birth (Berreman,
spaces outside the rarefied protected enclaves shielded 1967, referencing Bailey, 1957; Sinha, 1959, 1962; Srinivas,
within gates and walls. Focusing on the disorderly, Herbert 1956, 1966). Such exclusion by ascription has an economic
describes this exclusion as a form of modern day prohibition dimension also through the way in which untouchables are
that cedes out the homeless, the transient; and those who loi- “denied control of the means of production” (Deliege, 1992,
ter, panhandle, and display public drunkenness (Douglas, p. 170, referencing Oommen, 1984). This results in forms of
1966). Herbert found that these practices of creating exclu- deprivation and poverty that enforce dependence, deference,
sion societies are not new; that they have and continue to be and ultimately acceptance.
used as justifications for forms of social cleansing (Cresswell, Exclusion societies are identifiable at different places
2006; Dubber, 2005; Duncan, 1978; Spradley, 1970). in time, space, and geography. Such societies tend to be
Essentially the physical embodiment of territorial actions, associated with differential access to social and economic
exclusion societies seek to separate and compound the well-being, and differential proximity to illness and dis-
favored from the disfavored, and the hygienic from the dirty ease. Inclusion societies, however, evolve from within
(Douglas, 1966; Sibley, 1995). To do this, they collectively such contexts. They are characterized by movements
create spaces of inclusion and exclusion, even if not all par- toward greater social justice, equality, and collectivism
ties cede to such collectivism. in response to the kinds of global oppressions exclusion
Disability, like gated communities, is another example of societies embody and perpetuate.
the ways societies create cultural spaces structured by exclu-
sion. Kitchin (1998) described the reproductive nature of
disablist practices, as assemblies that seek to ensure disabled A Natural Order
people are kept in certain places from where they come to Mechanisms of social inclusion and exclusion and the
understand when they may be out of place. For Kitchin, effects of these have been thoroughly investigated within
social relations between the disabled and the able-bodied the field of psychology and related disciplines. Work in this
function to keep disabled people in their place and to signal area has sought to better understand possible evolutionary
when they may be stepping beyond this space. origins of social inclusion and exclusion, and potential

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sociobiological purposes to these different explanations of posited a belongingness thesis. This suggests the need to
integration (Kurzban & Leary, 2001). belong is a fundamental human motivation. Here, along
Eisenberger and Lieberman (2005) and MacDonald and with base needs like food and shelter (Bernstein, Sacco,
Leary (2005) have approached inclusion and exclusion from Young, Hugenberg, & Cook, 2010), belongingness is held
a psychosocial and physiological perspective in which they to be a foundational human need that results in a general
consider how the impacts of these social practices share over- pattern whereby social inclusion is used to reward, and
lapping characteristics with our physical pain systems. social exclusion to punish. The outcome is a gauge that
Eisenberger and Lieberman reflected that our social intercon- structures both social values and comportment (Baumeister
nectivity is as fundamental as our most basic human needs for & Leary, 1995).
fire, sustenance, and shelter and that the absence of such con- Whereas a sociological perspective might suggest at the
nectivity is experienced, literally, as pain. They propose that societal level that there exist a series of motivations to design
the pain of social exclusion, separation, or rejection share inclusive frameworks for the betterment of social life, a natu-
many of the experiential attributes of forms of physical pain. ral order perspective would suggest that basic human survival
Referencing Baumeister (2000), Eisenberger and Liberman and reproduction benefit from the evolution of cohesive
described how across many centuries and cultures, various group living; that to an extent, inclusion and exclusion as
forms of storytelling and artistic expression reflect how the components of a behavioral repertoire may have helped to
interruption, loss, or absence of social bonds can manifest as ensure evolutionary and reproductive fitness (Leary et al.,
intense experiences of human pain and suffering. They point 1995). This thinking suggests that such fitness at the level of
out that the pain and suffering associated with the loss of kin networks or community groups may mirror existing phys-
social bonds is recognized by many legal systems also. iological traits for responding to physical pain, to also struc-
To help explain the social, psychological, and physical ture responses to social pain. From this perspective, the
pain experienced by exclusion, Eisenberger and Lieberman exclusion/inclusion continuum exists alongside a biologically
(2004) developed pain overlap theory. This theory holds that driven, psychological reaction that leads to the adoption of a
different kinds of pain utilize elements of shared processing generalized dislike of social exclusion and a favoring of the
systems. As reflected by MacDonald and Leary (2005), maintenance of adequate inclusion (Eisenberger & Lieberman,
among our less developed ancestors, both physical and social 2005; MacDonald & Leary, 2005).
pain were functional in that they steered kin and other social Such arguments present another perspective as to why dif-
groups from environmental and other threats, reorienting ferent societies and social groupings across diverse historical
them in the direction of helpful others. As such, the social periods and geographical locations develop intense drives to
pain of exclusion was seen to have evolved as a means of create and strengthen social institutions around various
responding to danger. aspects of social integration and exclusion. Yet, as the exam-
In detailing their sociometer theory, Leary, Tambor, ples of ostracism, solidarism, and stigmatism will reflect, any
Terdal, and Downs, (1995) explained why inclusionary and biological push with regards to social stratification is accom-
integrational practices are so fundamentally important to panied by a social world pull. The examples of ostracism,
social interactions and how we are designed to detect them. solidarism, and stigmatism will demonstrate how at different
They note that many writers have suggested that the human intervals in history, it is not necessarily biological forces but
need to seek inclusion and to avoid exclusion is essential, instead social architectures that become employed in the cre-
and furthermore, that as a developmental trait, this orienta- ation and continuance of inclusion societies.
tion likely can be traced to its survival benefit (Ainsworth,
1989; Barash, 1977; Baumeister & Leary, 1995; Baumeister
& Tice, 1990; Bowlby, 1969; Hogan, 1982; Hogan, Jones, & Ostracism
Cheek, 1985). Acts and practices of including or excluding others as aspects
For Leary et al. (1995), an individual’s sociometer is of systems of stratification may be as old as much of human-
managed through self-esteem where social inclusion and ity itself. Certainly, most societies display some degree of
exclusion are used as mechanisms to monitor the well-being taboos and customs concerning forms of both social rejection
of an individual or group’s social relations. These authors and social acceptance (Douglas, 1966, Gruter & Masters,
use the sociometer to underscore pain overlap theory by 1986; Lévi-Strauss, 1963; Radcliffe-Brown, 1952).
suggesting that self-esteem is a kind of inclusion detector In institutional terms, a very early form of social
that meters changes in the inclusionary or exclusionary exclusion is evident in the scholarship of the role of ostra-
positioning of individuals. From this perspective, it would cism in Athens, Greece, during the 5th century b.c., when
be this need for detection that ultimately drives individuals the provision of an official mechanism to institutionalize
to maximize their quest for inclusion while minimizing the ostracism was enacted.
possibility of exclusion. Although there is some debate within the works of
Along with the overlapping pain thesis and the sociom- Aristotle and Androtion as well as subsequent scholars about
eter/self-esteem thesis, Baumeister and Leary (1995) have whether the law of ostracism originated with Cleisthenes

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prior to the first official ostracism of Hipparchos, son of As instituted at the time, the law of ostracism was seen to
Charmos, in 488 b.c. (Kagan, 1961; Raubitschek, 1951; be successful. It so weakened the ability of potentially dis-
Robinson, 1939, 1945, 1946, 1952), there is consensus that ruptive subversive groups to wreak havoc on society and its
the law appeared sometime in the 20 years surrounding the political systems, that in the more than 90 years between 508
battle at Marathon. The law of ostracism was instituted as a and 417 b.c., no more than 20 official ostracisms took place
means to protect young democratic institutions from the (Ostwald, 1955).
resurgence of tyranny (Raubitschek, 1951). It did so Given that modern industrial societies increasingly tend to
through the enactment of an ostrakophoria (Goligher, frown on the kinds of excluding practices as reflected in the
1910, p. 558, referencing Carcopino, 1909; Rehbinder, legal practice of ostracism (Rehbinder, 1986), it can be chal-
1986, p. 323). Thus, ostracism was considered a democratic lenging to acknowledge that ostracism exists in contempo-
process in which those who were qualified to vote would rary societies also, legally through, for example, formal
“scratch onto a clay shard the name of a party leader to be punishments such as imprisonment, or racial prejudice,
banned (hence the name ostrakismos = shard judgment)” scapegoating, and xenophobia (Gruter & Masters, 1986). For
(Rehbinder, 1986, p. 323). Kort (1986), ostracism can be considered as coerced or invol-
As an initial incident in a series of expulsions driven by untary exit of an individual or individuals from the society in
the desire for political control (Kagan, 1961), the very first which they live that manifests as a range of exclusions. Thus,
political ostracism was followed by the successive exclusion a society demonstrating variation in ostracism practices
of Magakles in 487-6, Xanthippos in 485-4, and Aristeides in reflects a society with solidaristic strategies for the exclusion
483-2. of its members from participation and from occupying posi-
As institutionalized more than 25 centuries ago, ostracism tions of respect (Kort, 1986, referencing Masters, 1986).
was used almost exclusively as a political weapon against
male generals (Raubitschek, 1951), as a means to mitigate the
influence of political rivals (Kagan, 1961) and to police and Solidarism
control the well-being of the state. Rehbinder (1986) sug- To turn from the ostracism of 5th-century Athens to the
gested the main aim of ostracism was to “exclude the losing solidarism of late-19th-century France, allows for the con-
party leader from the state” as “early democracy could not trast of an early institutional approach to social exclusion
integrate the continuous action of opposition parties into the with an equally enlightening historical era of inclusion.
political process” (p. 321). To address this and to solve party The concept of solidarism evolved in the late-19th-century
conflicts, a law of ostracism essentially functioned to banish in France during a period of social, epistemological, and
the leader of the opposition. ontological change. It was an age when understandings of
Importantly, Athenian ostracism was levied against an autonomy were being reconsidered by “scientism, political
already elite class who for tyrannical activities or suspicions ideologies (especially Marxism) and the Roman Catholic
of tyranny were considered political liabilities or dangers. Magister,” entities united in their intent to denounce an
These acts did not bring shame on the recipient, but rather increasing vanity-like individualism (Vincent, 2001, p. 414).
were prestigious, even honorable—a status reflected in the Although, within this period, the idea of solidarity was
convention for the ostracized individual to retain his prop- not an established ethical reference, French Protestants
erty, and, after his return, to regain his elite personal and united around this new form of solidarity known as solidar-
social status (Rehbinder, 1986). ism. In doing so, the Protestants defined a path forward in
As Aristotle wrote in Politics: their transformed identity as a social minority (Vincent,
Democratic states institute the rule of ostracism For this underclass, being an excluded minority was not
[because] such states are held to aim at equality above seen as a stance from which to claim social or human rights.
anything else; and with that aim in view they used to Rather, exclusion was seen as igniting the kind of freedoms
pass a sentence of ostracism on those whom they of thought and associations, which lent themselves to the
regarded as having too much influence owing to their reconciliation of identity-lending conceptualizations like
wealth or the number of their connexions or any other justice and liberty (Vincent, 2001).
form of political strength. (Barker, 1952, p. 135, refer- Although French Protestants were bound by religion,
enced in Masters, 1986, p. 390) their move to solidarism is not seen as being directly related
to religious teachings or directives. If anything, French
Ostracism as it came to be enacted in Attic democracy Protestantism of this period was wary of “religious pietism
was not an event applied lightly or arbitrarily. It required and political liberalism and generally suspicious of any insti-
careful deliberation, a large quorum, and the immunity of tutional expression of the desire for social justice” (Vincent,
an ostracized person’s family. In essence, ostracism acted 2001, p. 415). As a result, they turned instead to groups not
like a safety valve that ensured a smoother, more peaceful, known as religious in connotation, such as trade associa-
and less tumultuous running of the state (Kagan, 1961). tions, unions, and left-of-centre political parties.

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It has been suggested that the story of solidarism is essen- the 1920s, much of the impact and influence of solidarism
tially the story of France’s move to the welfare state. In had been depleted (Koskenniemi, 2009).
opposing collectivism because it potentially threatened indi- However, for the generation or two of those in France
vidual liberty, while promoting the empowerment of the moved by the solidarist approach to social integration, one of
working class, the new philosophy of solidarism countered the most persuasive elements of the philosophy and one that
the individualism of laissez-faire liberalism and social lent to its fashionableness was what Hayward (1961)
Darwinism. In time, solidarism would come to help to dis- described as an open sesame inclusive approach to mitigating
mantle existing resistance to social reform and to usher in the social conflicts of the era. The philosophy was meaning-
this new era of Welfarism (Sheradin, 2000). ful to the time also because as an approach, it was not really
Léon Bourgeois’s book Solidarité (1998), which first radical at all. Rather, it melded elements of community, inclu-
appeared in 1896, is held to be a form of manifesto for the soli- sivity, and social solidarity—all useful mechanisms to help
darism movement. In the decades prior to the First World War, the populace attain security against poverty, illness, unem-
the newly empowered French Radical Party were looking for ployment, and war (Hayward, 1961).
a philosophy that would help them to maintain central power The broad solidarism movement was oriented to the rec-
against the right-leaning individualists and the left-leaning onciliation of individual and social ethics with the belief that
collectivists (Hayward, 1961, 1963). In 1895-1896, during the all citizens had the free will to interact and develop relation-
short-lived Radical government of Bourgeois, he published a ships with others (Vincent, 2001). Solidarism in essence acted
pamphlet titled Solidarité based on a series of his public letters as a shared and uniting philosophy—a precondition of the
that had appeared earlier. The main intent of this document era’s new approaches toward social contractuality (Foschi &
was to advocate for a new approach, between “retreating lais- Cicciola, 2006)
sez-faire liberalism and ascendant socialism.” The aim of the For Koskenniemi (2009), the influences of these precon-
particular piece of writing was to shine a light on “the duties ditions would be felt at home and abroad, playing a defining
that citizens owed to each other” (Koskenniemi, 2009, p. 285). role in solardistic evolutions throughout the Spanish Civil
Bourgeois’s Solidarité is seen as representing what has War, World War II, the beginning forays across the continent
been described as a belle époque within the Third Republic toward the establishment of the European Union (EU), and
(Hayward, 1963). Solidarism became the main social ultimately, as the sociological lens helps reveal, trickling
philosophy of his new radical party (Koskenniemi, 2009), through Goffman’s 1950s work on stigma and France’s
orienting it and the nation toward what in time would 1970s social inclusion as promoted by René Lenoir.
become a new more inclusive state. As a new political and
collective philosophy, solidarism was seen as reflective of a
modernization of the revolutionary maxim: liberty, equality, Stigmatism
and fraternity. Stigma and the act of stigmatizing is a common and recog-
Notably, solidarism’s narrative features the influences of nizable form of social exclusion, yet, efforts to contend with
democracy and humanism, through its belief in the develop- some of the prejudices and discriminations recognized as
ment and contributions of every individual, and through its components of stigmatization reflect forms of social inclu-
assertion of the inherent dignity of all of humanity (Sheradin, sion.
2000). Inherent within Goffman’s (1963) work: Stigma: Notes on
Solidarism was committed to democracy, to the empower- the Management of Spoiled Identity, is a belief in the univer-
ment of the working class, and to 19th-century understandings sality of stigma and social exclusion. Stigma as a process
of human reliance and interdependence (Sheradin, 2000). In leads certain individuals to be “systematically excluded from
being so committed, one can find a second meaning in this particular sorts of social interactions because they possess a
movement, one interwoven with concern over balancing self- particular characteristic or are a member of a particular
interest with the era’s philosophical humanistic ideals. group” (Kurzban & Leary, 2001, p. 187). The concept embod-
It is not surprising that among the principles of French ies the functionality of “outsiderderness”; and the utility of
solidarism was the belief that the liberty of human kind was why humans, as “an inherently social species with a strong
not freedom absolute, but rather an understanding that free need for social acceptance should be so inclined to reject
individuals were also in debt to society, to every other citi- members of its own kind” (Kurzban & Leary, 2001, p. 187).
zen, and to future generations (Koskenniemi, 2009). For Goffman and those influenced by him (Crocker, Major, &
In time, with the passing of World War I, the French Steele, 1998; Elliott, Ziegler, Altman, & Scott, 1982; Jones
Radical Party fell from favor as many of the working class et al., 1984; Kleinman et al, 1995; Schneider, 1988), stigma-
shifted their allegiance to the Socialists following the tization occurs when the evaluation of an individual results in
Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 (Hayward, 1963). Ultimately, that person being discredited (Kurzban & Leary, 2001).
the harshness of World War I ended much of the utopian As a sociologist, Goffman’s approach was both dramatur-
inclusivity inherent within the solidarist approach, and by gical and oriented toward a symbolic interactionist

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perspective. His main interest was in the structure of social exclusion. In a series of articles, these authors have argued
interactions and the rules that governed them (Goffman, for the development of a more nuanced conceptual frame-
1967). For Goffman, social structures provided the context work that would go beyond the works of Goffman and of
for interactions, as it was social structure that steadied and biological determinists (Parker, 2012, referencing also
sustained social hierarchies (Scambler, 2009). Yet some have Parker & Aggleton, 2003, and Maluwa, Aggleton, & Parker,
suggested that Goffman may not have sufficiently attended 2002), to think beyond evolutionary stigma or differentially
to political economy, or to elements considered traditionally valued stigma and more directly about stigma as a “social
beyond the foci of symbolic interactionists such as class, process fundamentally linked to power and domination”
power, gender, and ethnicity (Scambler, 2006, 2009). (Parker, 2012, pp. 165-166).
From a functional perspective, stigma in the natural Parker (2012, referencing Stuber, Meyer, & Link, 2008)
world reflects certain biological elements. Kurzban and reflected that theory and research has tended to operationalize
Leary (2001) suggested that this world is structured by a stigma either as discrimination (as in the work of Goffman,
series of interconnected interactions that result in variable 1963) or as prejudice (as in the work of Allport, 1954).
costs and benefits (see Whiten & Byrne, 1988, 1997). As Subsequently, over the second half of the 20th century, the two
reflected earlier, there is a universality to stigma in the sense foci evolved along parallel but distinctly separate directions,
that it has been observed in most human cultures and even with the work on prejudice tending much more to tackle race,
in the animal kingdom (Behringer, Butler, & Shields, 2006; ethnicity, and associated social relations.
Buchman & Reiner, 2009; Dugatkin, FitzGerald, & Lavoie, Yet as Parker (2012), Parker and Aggleton (2003), Link
1994; Oaten, Stevenson, & Case, 2011). Examples of this and Phelan (2001), and others have argued, discrimination
near universality include territoriality in fish, birds, reptiles, and prejudice, as components or forms of stigma, share key
and mammals, and cross-species status hierarchies and relations with the production and reproduction of power
social ostracism. relations.
Some like Kurzban and Leary (2001) sought to frame the It is arguably owing to this revisioning beyond dramatur-
exclusion of stigma from the perspective of biological deter- gical performance and biological determinism that stigma
minism. That is, as psychological rather than social systems can be envisioned as a somewhat supplanted component of
structured by natural selection to ease some of the chal- the contemporary discourse of social exclusion and
lenges of sociality. The proposition is that these systems or inclusion.
exclusionary mechanisms often influence individuals to The suggestion that stigma is not (or not only) performed
subconsciously exclude dangerous others from social struc- and not (or not only) determined but rather is culturally pro-
tures and interactions (Archer, 1985). Thus, from this bio- duced as a social, relational, and powerful artifact is a com-
logically deterministic perspective, stigma is not so much pelling argument (Buchman & Reiner, 2009). Equally
owing to the kind of negative evaluation as theorized by compelling is Scambler’s (2009) reflection that stigma can
Goffman and colleagues, but rather to a form of protective be a very convoluted social process, one for which sociology
disassociation. is well-oriented to imagine as a combination of experience,
Another deterministic approach to stigmatism has consid- anticipation, and perception, of the harms of blame and
ered the exclusion of stigma from the perspective of disease, devaluation; the fears and pain of rejection and exclusion;
and specifically as a mechanism of disease avoidance. Here, and the hopes and desires for acceptance and inclusion.
the basic claim derives from several observations. First, that
we tend to evaluate those who are infectious in the same way
as we would evaluate other kinds of stigmatized individuals Social Inclusion
(Snyder, Kleck, Strenta, & Mentzer, 1979). Second, that the How cultures and societies stratify and divide; how they
most severely stigmatized groups (i.e., those who are most account for customs around inclusion, exclusion, belong-
avoided) are individuals who are evidently ill or who demon- ing, and togetherness; and how the processes that include
strate characteristics of the ill or diseased (Oaten et al., 2011 and exclude are talked about, described, understood, and
referencing Bernstein, 1976; Heider, 1958; Kurzban, & experienced, all provide some clues as to the role of social
Leary, 2001; Schaller, & Duncan, 2007). Leprosy and small- integration and stratification within a given society. Indeed,
pox are but two examples. For these authors, envisioning how stratification is conceived and discussed can obscure
stigma as disease-avoidance does not negate other processes the very nature of the processes by which such divisions
that contribute to discriminatory or exclusionary behavior. come to be. This is precisely why the discipline of sociol-
Rather, it suggests that beneath or antecedent to other ogy is so useful. Unlike natural order sciences, it does more
processes is an avoidance system that seeks to limit possible than identify and posit explanations for social divisions.
contact with infectiousness and disease (Oaten et al., 2011). Sociology, in addition to this, can reflect also on the disci-
Parker and Aggleton (2003) reflected that often stigma plinary discourses encircling discussions of these social
goes undefined in academic scholarship or reverts to some- partitions. For example, one of the means by which stratifi-
what of a stereotypical, two-dimensional description of cation is conceptualized and discussed could take as a

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reflective example, the pre–World War II writings of there will always be patterns of border shaping that are par-
Sorokin (1998), who in considering stratification differenti- ticular to specific contexts. This is in part because the weight
ated between horizontal and vertical social mobility. Sorokin of inclusion versus exclusion is dependent on the particulars
suggested that horizontal mobility related to changes in occu- of any given society (de Haan & Maxwell, 1998; March
pational position or role, but not to changes within a social et al., 2006; O’Brien, Wilkes, de Haan, & Maxwell, 1997).
hierarchy, whereas vertical mobility did describe changes Such society-specific particulars might take the form of tra-
within the social hierarchy. Sorokin summarized his theory ditional and historic patterns of stratification, or be based on
by reflecting that within systems of vertical and horizontal how individual groups and/or characteristics may be valued
mobility, there could be individual social infiltration as well over others. Less clear, however, is which, if any, elements of
as collective social movement. Furthermore, that although it a given society or social structure may mitigate the kinds of
was possible to identify forms of mobile and immobile soci- exclusion/inclusion dynamics that may be held aloft as rep-
eties within different geographical and historical contexts, it resentative of normative practice. For example, in some
was rare for a society’s strata to be closed absolutely, and rare social contexts, patterns of inclusion and exclusion may
for the vertical mobility of even the most mobile society to reflect different stages of social and economic development.
be completely free from obstacles. Alternately, these patterns may vary by type and/or political
As proposed by Sorokin, these types of social movements orientation of governments, or by the religious, ethnic, or
could often vary across time and space, yet even across time, cultural makeup of a given society.
trends—particularly as they might apply to vertical mobil- Ultimately, however, the use of inclusion and exclusion
ity—were unlikely to be writ in stone. Although autocratic concepts has evolved to the point where within a number of
societies might be less mobile than democratic societies, the contexts, they are used as a descriptor for those who repre-
rule was not fixed and could have exceptions (Sorokin, sent a particular kind of threat to social harmony (Silver &
1998). Miller, 2003). In sum, the terms social inclusion and social
While often used to describe low or zero labor market exclusion have been used throughout the social science and
involvement (Foster, 2000), early definitions of social exclu- humanities literature in a number of different ways—to
sion in time broadened to consider barriers to effective or full describe acts of social stratification across human and animal
participation in society (Du Toit, 2004). These types of barri- societies, as a principle to reflect the ordering that occurs
ers were considered to contribute to progressive processes of within societies to determine social position, and as a narra-
marginalization that could lead to deprivation and disadvan- tive to explain and at times justify why one or more groups
tage (Chakravarty & D’Ambrosio, 2006). As the exclusion merit access to the core or the periphery, to the benefit or
concept took on currency, it began to reflect more than a expense of others.
simple material nature and to begin to encompass the experi- Initial discourses of social inclusion are widely attributed
ence of individuals or communities who were not benefitting to having first appeared in France in the 1970s when the eco-
or were unable to benefit relative to others in society (Davies, nomically disadvantaged began to be described as the
2005; Levitas, 1998). In time, the concept would evolve to excluded (Silver, 1995). The preliminary uses of this new
reflect lapses in social integration and social cohesion that parlance appeared as a means to refer to a variety of disabled
plagued advanced capitalist societies (Chakravarty & and destitute groups. The government of France was among
D’Ambrosio, 2006). It would evolve also to refer to processes the earliest adapters of exclusion terminology, and it is there
that prevent individuals or groups from full or partial partici- that most often the concept is suggested to have found its
pation in society, as well as the crippling and reifying inabil- contemporary meaning (Silver & Miller, 2003).
ity to meaningful participation in economic, social, political, As a fully documented policy response, the concept of
and cultural activities and life (de Haan & Maxwell, 1998; social inclusion to counteract social exclusion emerged
Duffy, 1995, 2001; Horsell, 2006)—a definitional approach toward the end of the 1980s, when the European Community
that imbues exclusion in terms of neighborhood, individual, (EC) first used the term social exclusion (Wilson, 2006). The
spatial, and group dimensions (Burchardt, Le Grand, & appearance of the term social inclusion in the rhetoric of the
Piachaud, 1999, referenced in Percy-Smith, 2000). EC was in itself a key point of departure, in that exclusion
March, Oviedo-Joekes, and Romero (2006) suggested that was suddenly held to be a reflection that “poverty was no
one of the elements that unify the divergent definitional longer the right word to use to describe the plight of those
approaches to social exclusion and inclusion is that social marginalized from mainstream society” (Williams & White,
exclusion is a process as opposed to a static end state. Further, 2003, p. 91).
that inclusion, in addition to being a context-based social and Ascertaining the contemporary use of the terms social
historical product reflective of social and national history, inclusion and social exclusion involves a study of diffusion
tends to mirror also what Silver (1995) proposed were the of, most importantly, the applications of René Lenoir,
very limits of the borders of belonging. France’s Secretary of State for Social Welfare in the Chirac
Despite attempts at globally applicable definitions of government of the 1970s (Davies, 2005, citing Lenoir, 1974;
social exclusion and inclusion, it has been suggested that Pierce, 1999; Silver, 1995).

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L’Inclusion Sociale state and the obligations that society has in return, to provide
reasonable livelihoods for its members. Here, though, the
In 1965, a French social commentator, Jean Klanfer, pub- accepted exceptions, as in many welfare regimes, were
lished L’Exclusion sociale: Étude de la marginalité dans les restricted to those who could not work due to older age, dis-
sociétés occidentales [Social exclusion: The study of mar- ability, or ill health, and did not extend to those whose delib-
ginality in Western societies] (Béland, 2007). Described as erate actions and/or deliberate tendencies toward illicit
an anthropology of poverty (Cl, 1968), Klanfer’s work pleasure, removed them from broader labor force opportuni-
argued that society rewarded personal responsibility with ties or expectations.
inclusion and personal irresponsibility with exclusion. If the In some respects, the mutuality and reciprocity evident in
work of Bourgeois was a primary influence on the soldarism elements of French Republican thought reflected a social
movement almost 100 years earlier, the writings of Klanfer contract that favored the already-included in its definition of
would fuel the imagination of René Lenoir (1974), most society. For the positioning of reciprocity within the social
notably in his book Les exclus. contract, such a context has implications for the creation of
In his political tome, Lenoir contended social exclusion biases against the failings of the excluded. In particular,
was a result of France’s postwar transition from a largely against those who vary from society’s includable norms. In
agricultural society to an urban one (Davies, 2005). While the place of any such consideration leading to action,
the belief was that these events could lead to poverty, Lenoir appeared a sort of stoic romanticism. Thus, for the French,
argued that they could lead to a brand of social polarization the excluded came to represent a martyred or punished sector
also, which challenged the Liberté, Egalité, and Fraternité of a society against whom the included had failed to live up
ideals of the French Republican project. to their side of the social contract.
Many have suggested that if there were a birth of the As the concept of exclusion grew to gain broader credence
modern rhetoric of social inclusion, it would be here, in beyond France, the EC and the subsequent EU, it increasingly
French thought that sought a means to reintegrate the large incorporated target groups who were not simply poor or with-
numbers of ex-industrial workers and a growing number of out sufficient resources. It incorporated those segregated also
young people excluded from opportunities to join the labor from the social core through attributes such as ethnicity or
force in the new economies of the 1970s and beyond. race, age, gender, and disability, and whose characteristics
According to Silver (1995) and Silver and Miller (2003), could contribute to justify the need for deliberate social inclu-
one of the reasons the inclusion and exclusion concepts reso- sion programs (Omidvar & Richmond, 2003). That these
nated so strongly for the French was that in their society, the attributes tended to be noncriminalized and relatively politi-
Anglo-Saxon idea of poverty was seen to essentially insult cally correct, as opposed to criminalized and/or contested, is
the equality of citizenry contained within the Liberté mani- a feature that should not be lost.
festo—an equality that, as reflected in France’s late-20th- Even though the concepts of citizenship and social inte-
century welfare state, operationalized charity as basic social gration in the French tradition may present some challenges
assistance in response to poverty, and as essentially a right of for Anglo-Saxon manners of thinking, this did not, according
citizenry. Furthermore, what would come to be seen as an to Gore, Figueiredo, and Rodgers (1995), prevent the wider
inclusive welfare state was held to be the most effective and adoption of exclusion frameworks across Western Europe.
civilized way to eliminate absolute material deprivation and These authors suggested that in appropriating the concept as
the risks to well-being such deprivation could cause. integral to modern and meaningful social development, the
However, as the 1970s progressed, and as unemployment EC was linking the concept of social exclusion more closely
became endemic, the passage of time brought even greater with evolving thoughts around the implications of unrealized
numbers of those considered excluded, and with them ever- social rights.
increasing reiterations of the new exclusion discourse (Silver, While EC and EU directives sought to carve out greater
1995). The result in France was a movement to protect les social inclusion, other countries, particularly Commonwealth
exclus. The movement was so strong that by 1998, the French countries—notably the United Kingdom, Australia, New
posited legal codification to prevent and combat social exclu- Zealand, Canada, and South Africa—were beginning to roll
sions (note the plural) as a means to foster universal access out their own interpretations of this rhetoric.
to fundamental human rights. In its initial contemporary use, the exclusion terminology
Within French Republican thought in particular, social adopted in France and subsequently diffused elsewhere, was
exclusion was seen to reflect ruptures in solidarity and the meant to refer to those individuals who were considered to be
social bond (lien social), something essentially tantamount on the margins of French society of the 1970s. That is, indi-
to heresy within the French social contract. Heresy because viduals considered society’s social problems, who tended to
the French social contract of the time was seen to hold (and share a particular social reality, a less than successful material
some may argue continues to hold) reciprocity, both between existence compounded with real barriers in accessing benefits
the social obligations French citizens have for the French provided by the French welfare state (Daly, 2006).

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So great were the social problems, that Lenoir, would effects of social exclusion in the absence of social inclusion)
suggest that a full 10% of the French population were exclu, could represent a threat to social order.
or outcast. According to Davies (2005), “the novel charac- Horsell’s (2006) suggestion was that, in purely opera-
teristic of les exclus was not that they were poor (although tional terms, the exclusion/inclusion paradigm acted to
most were), but that they were disconnected from main- reinforce neoliberal ideas about social actors and agency
stream society in ways that went beyond poverty” as well as to harness principles of mutual obligation and
(p. 3). This disconnect, it was argued, was facilitated by active participation; that the discourse, broadly speaking,
their relative social positioning and by factors related to had both symbolic and physical dimensions. In its consid-
poor health and social, economic, and geographical isola- eration of the ways in which contemporary social policy
tion from active engagement in politics. From this perspec- analysis treats social position as stratification, deprivation,
tive, to be socially excluded was paramount to being of the and inequality, attempts to tease out the causes and conse-
underclass; to be among those people who did not fit into quences of social exclusion relative to inclusion could risk
the norms of industrial societies, who were not protected by becoming muddled by mixing together attempts to better
social insurance and who were essentially considered social the lives and living conditions of people living below pov-
misfits. (Silver, 1995; Stegemen & Costongs, 2003). Beliefs erty lines, with the illusion that more were being done than
about social conformity aside, Silver’s (1995) near defini- might be. Horsell’s suggestion of illusion hinged on the
tive list of the socially excluded reads in some regards as a reflection that those who may ultimately benefit from the
full 50% of the world’s population. In doing, so it lends cre- application of such inclusion-speak when operationalized
dence to Labonte’s (2004) assertion that the socially as policy could tend to be those who already enjoyed a
excluded are liable to comprise everyone who is not middle- number of inclusion’s benefits.
aged, middle class, and male. Levitas (1996, 1998) has reflected that the overall flavor
It follows that just naming who is at risk of social exclu- of the social inclusion rhetoric is strongly Durkheimian.
sion, based on identity, vulnerability, membership, or biology She has stressed that Durkheim and the exclusion/inclusion
will not suffice without some reflection as to who is naming discursive continuum demonstrate a tendency to repress
the excluded, where those who label or define the excluded conflict as well as a tendency toward an approach to inclu-
stand ontologically relative to their own or others’ exclusion, sion that subversively critiques capitalism in a way that
and what if any the influences of personal, political, stereo- would be lacking from a purely Durkheimian analysis.
typical, or xenophobic biases may be. It is an element of the Owing in part to this, Levitas (1998) labeled the rhetoric
conceptualization of social inclusion and exclusion particu- of social inclusion “a new Durkheimian hegemony” (p. 178),
larly well-suited to sociology’s contribution. given that most contemporary views of inclusion correspond
to scholarly interpretations of Durkheim’s sociology, includ-
ing Durkheim’s emphasis on an alternative attempt to navi-
A Sociological Lens gate an understanding of society between unacceptable free
In many ways, despite the contribution of the psychological market capitalism and an unacceptable state socialism.
and life sciences, and even the contributions of social policy, Such hegemony, according to Bowring (2000), leads us to
the concepts of social inclusion and exclusion are profound- think of elements of exclusion like deprivation and inequal-
ingly sociological. This is because at the very root of both ity as phenomena that occur at the very margins of society,
classic and contemporary sociological thinking are concerns and by extension, to ignore social structures that influence
with social stratification, social inequality, and social class— the included as well as the excluded. Bowring’s point was
key concepts which the social inclusion literature repeatedly that the exclusion/inclusion rhetoric risks being somewhat of
touches upon. a red herring, because exclusion at the societal level could be
Witcher (2003, referencing Burchardt et al., 1999) indicative of systemic deprivation and not just a deprivation
reflected that social inclusion and exclusion were concepts experienced or reported by those defined as socially
that were often poorly defined or theorized. Daly (2006) has excluded.
suggested that although there is nothing inherent in the inclu- For Wilson (2006), it was important to recall that social
sion and exclusion concepts that defy or negate theorization, integration per se was not a focus of Durkheim. For
in general, sociology’s attempts at their theorization could be Durkheim, inequality and social stratification were natural
inconsistent or facile. results of society, components of a solidary system he divided
Horsell (2006) referenced Crowther (2002) in suggesting into mechanical and organic: the former being a fountain of
that the contemporary interest in social exclusion and inclu- social cohesion and the latter a well of social inclusion.
sion were reflective of similar attempts to conceptualize the Together, they were envisioned as the kinds of dependencies
dual influences of poverty and social deprivation. As such, that social actors within advanced societies share with one
these concepts signaled that somehow the cumulative another. Wilson’s point was that although Durkheim associ-
impacts of poverty and social deprivation (or the cumulative ated increases in solidarity with social progress, he would not

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necessarily associate the same solidarity with social inclu- the inherent challenges embedded in an inequitable division
sion, since in theory, advanced societies characterized by of resources within an acquisitive, material world.
mutual dependence would exhibit the kinds of mutual and
shared bonds that would defy the need for social inclusion in
the first place. Residuus Exclusion
The emphasis of these authors, and arguably of a In discussing the problematization of exclusion, the sociolo-
Durkheimian perspective as applied to social inclusion also, gist Nikolas Rose wrote that the mid-19th century wore the
is that new or reborn ways are not necessarily different ways. mantle of “a succession of figures that seem to condense in
That despite its focus on the socially disenfranchised and their person, their name, their image all that is disorder, dan-
their position relative to a status quo, there remains a hollow ger, threat to civility, the vagrant, the pauper, the degenerate”
echo to the rhetoric around social inclusion. A void that is (Rose, 1999, p. 254). As the 19th century gave way to the
both redolent of discussion of the hollow state (Barnett, 1999; 20th, there appeared efforts to create universally shared forms
Davies, 2000; Della Sala, 1997; Holliday, 2000; London of social citizenship. Yet even within this drive toward univer-
Edinburgh Weekend Return Group, 1980; Rhodes, 1994; sality, there were those who were cast as unincludable, just as
Roberts & Devine, 2003; Skelcher, 2000), as well as a void there are today. Within the new liberal thinking, universal
that references one of Levitas’s (2000) and Labonte’s (2004) citizenship did not emulate fully the fact that the notion of
salient points: that it is one thing to promote an inclusionary universal was still a somewhat relative concept and that a
utopia. However, in the event that such a utopian vision boundary between the includable and the excludable would
comes to pass, how likely is it that the result will be the kind not only continue to exist but would be reinforced also.
of social world foreseen? In other words, even if a utopian From this arose “notions such as ‘the residuum,’ ‘the
ideal were within the reach of real-world, applied social pol- unemployable’ and ‘the social problem group’” (Rose, 1999,
icy, what are the odds, as Kenyon (2003) suggested, that p. 254), that is, states of embodied being, through social roles,
attaining an inclusive society would result in the banishment social strata, and entire classes that would, in time, become
of all inequality. integral to these new forms of liberal thinking. From such
It was Young’s (1999) argument, and Wilson’s (2006) vantage, the rhetoric of exclusion/inclusion, and the array of
reiteration that although much of the West’s social inclusion notions and underlying beliefs about the utility of integration,
rhetoric may address many things, the root cause of social would become parts of the organizing, and traceable main-
exclusion is not one of them. In this, the rhetoric fails because stays of reform. From older, perhaps simpler conceptualiza-
to address these causes would require acknowledgment that tions of inequality were born new ways of understanding
even within real-world inclusion societies, people frequently what Rose, citing Levitas (1996), described as a “two-thirds,
continue to experience poverty in a context that envelops one-third social order” where a seemingly continually widen-
them with messages of the meritocracy that surrounds ing gap between the included two thirds and the excluded one
them—a meritocracy that suggests that anyone with desire third would continue to unfurl (Rose, 1999, p. 258).
and ambition can succeed through acceptable behavior and Rose (1999) differentiated the new excluded from previ-
hard work. For these authors, this represents a relative pro- ous form of unequals. Whereas minorities that arose from
cess of deprivation—one that includes an encounter with a the welfare state had claims to unity and solidarity, the new
form of culture shock where the culture in which the excluded excluded have few of these, and it is perhaps from this lack
experience their day-to-day existence actively reinforces the of unification that the new expertise underlying inclusion’s
notion that they are receiving a much lower standard of liv- emphasis is born. Challenged from forging identity and
ing than others. right of place based on shared exclusion, this new under-
Here then, one could contend, is reflected the relative class is “like Marx’s peasants, individualized like potatoes
deprivation that leads to social exclusion “through a subjec- in a sack, incapable of forming themselves into a single
tive experience of inequality and unfairness as materially class on the basis of a consciousness of their shared expro-
deprived people seek to obtain the unobtainable” (Young, priation” (Rose, 1999, pp. 254-255).
1999, p. 401, cited in Wilson, 2006, p. 342). In a twist on the In moving from a welfare to a postwelfare, advanced lib-
variations in social inclusion discourses presented earlier, eral order, social control is reconfigured into control that
this view holds that social exclusion morphs into “a cultural moves beyond repressing or containing individual pathology.
phenomenon arising from dialectic relationships between It becomes both about knowledge and access to the produc-
identity and social acceptance and the contradiction of a sup- tion of knowledge. This is because—to paraphrase Marx—
posed meritocracy in which the poor lack the material means access to the production of knowledge provides for the
to meet the aspirations they are encouraged to embrace” definition of what is and is not includable (Rose, 1999, refer-
(Wilson, 2006, p. 343). In other words, exclusion becomes encing Ericson & Haggerty, 1997). Thus, the new labor force
social status contested between a hierarchical valuation of of control is no longer one that is either purely reactive or
different kinds of social identities (socially hazardous vs. purely punitive. Rather, it takes on a form of administrative
socially accepted) within a social world attempting to remedy function whereby it oversees the marginalia comprising the

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bounds (and bonds) of inclusion and exclusion, of risk and For all that is known about social stratification, the ten-
safety and permissibility (Rose, 1999). It was Rose’s vision dency, particularly from the perspective of sociology, has
that for the excluded underclass “a politics of conduct is today been to consider inclusion and exclusion from an observa-
more salient than a politics of class” (Rose, 2000, p. 335, cit- tional standpoint. This has occurred through policy analysis,
ing Mead, 1991, p. 4, and Procacci, 1999, p. 30). historical analysis, and even consideration of some of the
Although Rose’s discourse is compelling, one should sociobiological correlates of inclusion and exclusion. What is
consider also whether all of the excluded are created equal. less well known and less well developed are approaches for
Do they all share the same position within the underclass? understanding the subjective experiences of social inclusion
For example, across the Western world, special interest and social exclusion. For example, how exclusion and inclu-
groups have sprung up since the softening of the welfare sion are experienced socially? How experiences of inclusion
state, groups which include not only those that are socially and exclusion are produced and reproduced socially? How
excluded—drug users, sexual deviants, the poorly social- different social labels impact the experience of inclusion and
ized—but also the physically excluded such as those who are exclusion, and what the role of stigma may be?
bodily or mentally challenged. For the reader, understanding the journey from social
In order for the work of Rose and those who have influ- exclusion to social inclusion sociologically is an undertaking
enced his arguments regarding the inclusion/exclusion divide across potentially difficult terrain. Among other things, it
to be applicable (these influences include the works of requires a critical eye capable of accounting for individual
Foucault, 1979a, 1976/1979b, 1985, 1991; Mead, 1991; and group participation and lack thereof (Daly, 2006).
O’Malley, 1992, 1999, 2004; Valverde, 1998), the work will And what of poverty? For some writers who have sought to
need, in part, to account for diversity and social stratification unpack social inclusion and exclusion, these concepts are but
within the underclass—that is, to help shed light on how and alternate ways of recasting the notion of poverty. Others sug-
why certain social hierarchies of the status quo become rep- gest economic poverty need be seen either as only one of an
licated within the margins, leading to some of the marginal interrelated group of dimensions which work in tandem
experiencing, in a sense, double marginality. At the same together to contribute to an individual’s inability to success-
time, even those who achieve core or nonperipheral social fully access the overall labor market. Such an approach would
status risk facing constraining hierarchies and limits to social envision poverty as one factor in a multifaceted approach to
mobility that function to either deny or defy full integration. understanding the experiences of society’s lower strata
Extrapolating from the work of Rose, the inclusion soci- (Sirovátka & Mare, 2006; Woodward & Kohli, 2001).
ety would not be a utopian dream, but rather a development As prescribed approaches to policy and practice, efforts to
that to varying extents would further institutionalize themes contend with contemporary social exclusion often come to be
of inclusion, permissible rights, and the breadth of accept- framed by a rhetoric of reformation, imbued with different
able conduct. traditions in terms of how poverty is framed around either
relational or distributional issues (Murie & Musterd, 2004,
referencing van Kempen, 2002). It is a vantage that capital-
Conclusion izes on Marshall’s (1963) model of postwar social rights,
This article has reflected on social inclusion from the van- where, rather than focus on forms of postwar poverty, the
tage of sociology. It has reflected on exclusion and inclusion focus on social exclusion is on redistribution, access, and par-
societies, across time and place and has demonstrated the ticipation (Murie & Musterd, 2004). Then and now, socio-
importance of considering the physical world’s exclusion logically speaking, when poverty rather than social structure
and inclusion societies not only from a natural order per- is held up as the cause and consequence of exclusion, such
spective but from a social order perspective also. deprivation is presented as a failure of capabilities as opposed
Many of the considerations explored here have embodied to a manner of being within a social structure or society.
measurable, objective approaches to the sociological con- Chakravarty and D’Ambrosio (2006) suggested that an
ception and consideration of exclusion and inclusion. Du emphasis on the shortfalls of economic thresholds as an expla-
Toit (2004) has suggested current definitions, and their nation for exclusion is not the same as emphasizing structured
applications within individual country contexts allow social inabilities to participate. This is because a focus on structural
scientists and policy makers to present social exclusion as a inabilities allows for a more complex, multidimensional
single outcome of potentially multiple determinants of depri- understanding of the interplay, overlap, and social distance
vation. Yet, this article has considered arguments that posi- between money, work, and belonging. As a reconceptualiza-
tion inclusion and exclusion as much more than the fodder of tion of social disadvantage, such a perspective provides an
contemporary policy. Indeed, it has demonstrated how important framework for thinking out alternatives to the wel-
human integration and expulsion are both highly historical fare state. It links poverty, productivity by means of employ-
and deeply sociological; that forms of social deprivation as ment and social integration that in turn emphasizes integration
well as social entitlement span many hundreds of years, if and insertion into a labor market, active and personalized par-
not the full course of human history itself. ticipation, and a multicultural national citizenry (Gore et al.,

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1995). It broadens also the notion of inclusion beyond biologi- economic, or a social order, ideas about power would seem to
cal or economic fitness alone. be of particular importance—be it the power of the elite or the
In this regard, the suggestion that social inclusion exists not empowerment of those with special needs. Power seems to
necessarily as a mechanism of sociobiological well-being only fuel the wheels of integration. Although power can be shown
but more viscerally as a reflection of outcome of economic to have a decisive role in both the natural and the economic
empowerment holds much in common with Richard Parker orders, it is in the arena of the social where it is perhaps best
and Peter Aggleton’s post-Goffman work on stigma. Although understood. One only need look at the history of philosophy
good arguments exist—and many have been presented here— and social theory for evidence of how power and proximity to
about why integration and ostracism can be interpreted it can enable or bar integration. Power allows proximity to the
through both natural order and economic lenses, inclusion and means of inclusion—essentially, to inclusion’s apparati.
exclusion do not represent free-floating views. Like stigma, Of course, simply thinking openly about social worlds as
inclusion and exclusion also exist at “the historically deter- variations of inclusionary or exclusionary societies does not
mined nexus between cultural formulations and systems of lead to societies that are more inclusive. It does, however,
power and domination” (Parker, 2012, p. 166). allow for a more open lens with which to consider the past as
As systems of social power, these formations constitute well with which to view the present.
architectures of inclusion; that is, means and ways that inclu-
sion and exclusion are both enacted and talked about. Such Author’s Note
architectures exist as literal and figurative coalitions of Portions of this article were written during visits to the University
action, reaction, governance, control, and power which of Port Harcourt, Nigeria; the University of Pretoria and the
together comprise how a policy aim like social inclusion is University of the Western Cape, South Africa; and the University
wound, entwined, draped, and displayed for public rendering of Namibia.
and consumption.
In what can be described as a political economy of inclu- Acknowledgments
sion, the hierarchies embedded in these architectures of This work acknowledges the important contributions of Professors
inclusion not only ascribe value to who is to be considered Lynn Jamieson, Angus Bancroft, Alex Robertson, Esther
includable but also reflect value structures that can lead to Breitenbach, and Anthony Coxon at the University of Edinburgh;
forms of ideologically based interpretations about whether Professors Ted Myers and Liviana Calzavara at the University of
inclusion is as good or better than exclusion (Rodgers, 1995) Toronto; and Professor Avril Taylor at the University of the West of
based on variation in social power, the ability to hold rights, Scotland. Thanks to Professor Donald Sacco for deftly ushering
and the representation or embodiment of hazard. this manuscript through the review process at SAGE Open, and to
As with more traditional, physical forms of architecture, the anonymous reviewers for their perceptive and very useful
inclusion’s architectures function to both limit and facilitate comments.
the movement and interaction of people through hierarchies
of integration. Enclosed within these architectures are worlds Declaration of Conflicting Interests
of inclusion and exclusion that push and pull amid new forms The author declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect
of allowance, constraint, and conflict (Gumplowicz, 1963). to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
Parallel yet interconnected worlds in which, are reflected,
the socially excluded, reduced, and idealized as somewhat Funding
two-dimensional occupiers of social space (Spina, 2005). The author disclosed receipt of the following financial support for
Gillies (2005) reflected that societies have a tendency to the research and/or authorship of this article: The author received
normalize the sins of the included while penalizing the sins financial support from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
of the excluded. This suggests that even if discourses about (CIHR) Funding Reference Number 68356.
social inclusion are effectively rendered as policy and trans-
lated into practice, the act of revaluating the biases society’s References
hold for marginal underclasses of excluded social actors
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